Sunday, July 9, 2006

Dvorak: "I love Edmonton"

Sweet D-vo, I knew it couldn't be true!

Pronger, maybe. But if Radek Dvorak's on-ice play means anything, the guy just isn't a me-first type of player, and not just because he's an 8 goal, 28 point scorer coming off a knee inury.

What can I say? I like the guy. He actually plays hard every night and does a good job of keeping the puck out of our end.

Turns out that the the real villian is Rich Winter, who's behind all of this "anywhere but Edmonton" nonsense which Dvorak characterized as a "negotiating strategy" on the part of his agent. So, if any of you Covered In Oil readers see Rich Winter around town, do me a favour: squeeze his nose, spit in his face and then smack his head with a rolled-up newspaper. Of course, Dvorak is probably more valuable as an Oiler than he would appear to other teams interested in signing him, so I can't imagine Winter has a lot of leverage in negotiating a new big bucks contract for the speedy Czech. But that doesn't excuse the rather gauche "Edmonton Sucks" strategy so soon after the Pronger trade. We Edmontonians may not have a whole lot of anything (river valley, stabbings) but we have feelings -- often big-time angry sports feelings, so I'd advise Rich Winter to stop making us feel bad about our town.

Also: odd how speaking in your native tongue suddenly makes you a good interview. Here's some excerpts from his Q and A with the Czech Hockey Federation website:

On playing with the Oilers:

"I love Edmonton, and I would never say anything bad about a team where I’d worked. The truth is Oilers coaches weren’t giving me as much space as they had before (my injuries). If I stay, I would like to play as much as I had before.”

“We had a high-quality team. We got Michael Peca and Chris Pronger in the summer, Shawn Horcoff was playing well, we added Jaroslav Spacek during the season, young Hemsky was playing like a man obsessed. We shouldn’t have had such problems we eventually had with this kind of team. Then again, ours was the toughest division in the entire NHL. I mean, Vancouver, Calgary, Minnesota and Colorado, and we had to play each of them eight times, and that’s a tough way to earn points. Besides, thanks to the new rules, the league became more balanced.”

The playoff run:

“We had a great series against Detroit. Next round, San Jose led 2-0, and yet, we managed to turn it around. We eliminated Anaheim in the semifinals 4-1, but frankly, with the exception of one game, they were better. They had more chances. Dwayne Roloson was our hero. And the finals against Carolina? I think we lost it in Game 1. We led 3-0 and ended up losing 5-4!

Dvorak speaks about playing with the Oilers again:

“I talked to Edmonton’s management and they told me they were interested in me. ... (and) I love Edmonton.”

You hear that Chris Pronger, you cad?! Dvorak LIKES Edmonton.

West Edmonton Mall, forever, my friends.


Colby Cosh said...

OK, but why is this item illustrated with a photograph of Steve Nash?

Chris! said...

... and a photo of Steve Nash winning the Greasiest Hair Award, no less?

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Ok - so Winter says Dvo hates Edmonton (meaning the Oilers want him to take a paycut - that will never ever happen!) and then Dvorak says he loves Edmonton (having shopped my services around the league it appears that the Oiler offer was actually better then anything else out there so I take it back - seriously I take it all back ... hello? hello?)

mike w said...

Sure, but something tells me that Rich Winter is actually the idiot in this one.

Anonymous said...

yes!! Dvo is staying! Man, we are soooo set for next year!

Anonymous said...

It appears that Edmonton isn't willing to spend any kind of money on defence this year. We just signed Jan Hejda, who I believe hasn't played a single game in the NHL. Or perhaps we're trying to create an entire EU d-line?

James Mirtle said...

That picture is fantastic.

Steve said...

Um, I don't think it's fair to draw any parallel at all between Edmonton trading a seventh round pick for a defensive prospect (even a 28 year old one) and management's willingness to pursue the likes of Leetch, Markov, or Tarnstrom.

Also, where do you see that we've signed him? All I see is that we acquired his rights.

Anonymous said...

Er, I was moreso referring to the fact that we've signed Smid and Tjarnqvist, traded a draft pick for Hejda, and have posted an "I love Edmonton" press release from D-vo on the Oilers website.

The connection--intentional or not--is that they are all defencemen from Europe with average stats (possible future potential) and, also, relatively inexpensive. With the exception of Dvorak, they are also inexperienced in playing in the NHL.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

steve's right - they acquired his rights only although I presume they think they can sign him??

Lowe is going to pick up at least one name Dman soon - look for more teams to begin moving guys like the Sens moved Havlat and Smolinski

So ... is Dvorak going to represent himself now that Winter has possibly burned his bridges with the Oil then??

Colby Cosh said...

Winter controls too much talent to be ignored. If getting into a physical fight with the GM didn't "burn the bridges" with the franchise, and being Mike Comrie's strategic advisor didn't do it, a little thing like this certainly isn't going to finish the job.

Jes GÅ‘lbez said...

WHOA WHOA!! Jan Hejda??

When did this happen?

mudcrutch79 said...

I agree with Cosh. Winter could hold a press conference while he stood atop the Stanley Cup on the Gretzky statue taking a dump like a pigeon and it wouldn't burn his bridges. He and the Oilers apparently loathe one another; he represents talent and they have millions of dollars to spend on talent. It's business.

namflashback said...

hey anonymous,

why are you so friggin convinced that Lowe has to go out and chase the other spend-happy GM's into oblivion?

waiting remains a decent strategy as the other teams (and ours too) now need to turn attention to our own RFA deals.

Colby Cosh said...

Incidentally, when was Scarlett Johansson a scantily-clad Extraliga cheerleader? I hadn't heard about this part of her past.

Anonymous said...

It's not just that he's flanked by two Superliga scantily clad cheerleaders, it's not just that he's holding a trophy cup, it's the expression on his face more than anything that makes that photo golden...I salute you sir!